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Bali Officials: We'll be Dog Gone

Badung Regency Officials Vow to Eliminate 'All' Bali Street Dogs.

(2/21/2009) Bali officials told NusaBali that they are targeting the total elimination of wild street dogs in their current efforts to rid rabies from the Island.

There have been approximately 1,300 wild street dogs killed by officials since the confirmation of a rabies outbreak in late 2008. The Head of the Livestock, Fisheries and Oceans Service (Disnakanlut) for Badung, Made Badra, said: "We will continue to exterminate wild dogs until they are all eliminated. In other words, wild dogs in Badung must have a total population of 'zero.' We will only allow vaccinated dogs with owners to survive."

Badra said that the elimination of ownerless dogs and the vaccination of all pets, rabies will eventually be vanished from the Badung regency of Bali. He estimates that the number of "wild dogs" in Badung remain in the hundreds.

In the December-January period a total of 16.375 dogs received rabies vaccination. Starting in March these dogs will received the second booster, as part of a three-part inoculation program.

As reported by NusaBali, a leading virologist from the Veterinarian Faculty of Bali's Udayana University, Dr. IGN Mahardika, who is also a member of the rabies control team, has publicly questioned the efficacy of the current anti-rabies campaign. Mahardika has bemoaned the lack of cross-sector integration in the current drive with tourism circles, businesses and animal breeders being left out of the process. He has also criticized the lack of suitable mechanism for the transfer of assistance, know-how, equipment and funds to the grass-root level. Mahardika told the press that unfortunately controlling and combating rabies is still seen as the exclusive duty of the government.